Want to know a sure-fire way to get a TV show cancelled? Get me to watch it!
Alright, so here's how it is. I don't watch a lot of TV now that I'm much more serious about my writing. Really, I watch maybe a couple shows here and there, such as The Big Bang Theory, Bones, and Dr. Who. Aside from my writing, another reason I don't watch many shows is that if I watch something in it's first season, it inevitably gets cancelled!
Case in point, the show Endgame. It was broadcast on Showcase up here in Canada, and was about an agoraphobic chess champion who solves crimes from the hotel he's trapped in by his own mind. It was an unconventional, intelligent, engaging show. And it's been cancelled after one season. Same with Firefly, The Chicago Code, and so on. The only show I've started watching recently that lasted beyond a season was Lie to Me, and that's been cancelled this year.
Ah, you say, but what about the three shows I listed as watching up above. The trick is, I didn't watch those shows that much in their first seasons. In fact, I really dislike the first episode of The Big Bang Theory. I know what it's like to be a nerdy guy pining for the girl next door, and that episode reminds me of situations I'd much rather forget. It's almost physically painful. Eventually, after the numerous recommendations from a friend, I did give the show a chance, but I do my best to not watch the first episode when it comes on TV.
How about some other examples:
CSI - didn't see any of the first season until years later, one of the longer running dramas currently on TV
Space Above and Beyond - watched it religiously from the first season, cancelled either in its first season or soon into it's second, not sure if it ran long enough to have a second season.
Eureka - enjoy this show immensely when I can catch it, but due to when it plays I often miss it, had to buy the first season on DVD in order to watch it.
Crusade - follow-up to Babylon 5 that lasted thirteen episodes - one of the few shows cancelled where I didn't watch the whole season, but I did see the first few episodes.
Those are all the examples I can think of right now, but I'm sure if I really racked my brain I could come up with more. My luck even appears to be affecting current running shows. Dr. Who, which I really just started watching, Matt Smith is excellent by the way, is NOT getting a full season pickup next season, and is being split in half for this season. Yup, my TV luck at work.
Hopefully my luck changes next year and a show I love from the get go lasts for awhile, and I get to actually watch it. We'll see.